Rome is one of my favorite cities. This past May we completed our fifth visit, and there are still places I want to visit and visit again. Rome is a combination of the remains of an ancient empire (which you can see everywhere), the birthplace of the Catholic Church, art and the la dolce vita. When I started my blog, almost three years ago, Rome was my first entry and I thought I would share some of the images I have taken since then as well as thoughts on my favorite places in the city.
Probably my favorite place is the Roman Forum. On Capitoline Hill in the rear of the Piazza del Campidoglio is a terrace that looks out over the ancient forum, all the way to the Coliseum. I like to visit in the early morning and never tire of the view. I make every effort to visit each time I am in the city. I try to imagine what this would have looked like in its prime, when the buildings and arches were intact and were covered with marble. On our first visit, we took a walking tour of the forum which I recommend, but everyone should enjoy the view from the Campidoglio (and its free!).
I also very much enjoy visiting the Piazza’s. There is the market of Campo Fiori with the vendors and colorful produce and the art and atmosphere of Piazza Navona with Bernini’s Three Rivers Fountain. Both Campo Fiori and Piazza Navona are short walks to the other “must sees”, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Spanish Steps. This past May I visited Piazza del Popolo for the first time. This is a large square in the northern part of the city just south of Borghese Gardens and Galleries and is located just inside the ancient walls. The gate to the square Porta del Popolo was reworked by Bernini and there is an Egyptian obelisk in the center of the square, dating back to Sete I and Rameses II, that was brought from Egypt to Rome in 10 BC. At the south end of the square are the twin churchs, Santa Maria del Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesano. The beginning of Via Del Corso exits between the two churches. The Piazza is quite impressive.
If you are in Rome, you must set aside some time to visit some churchs. At a minimum you should see St Peters and the Vatican. St Peters Basilica and the square are free and you will probably have to stand in a queue for entry. There are admission fees for The Vatican Museum (including the Sistine Chapel) and treasury. The grand scale of this place is immense and it is difficult to convey that with pictures, it needs to be seen. When I first visited, I can still recall turning onto Via Della Conciliazione, the wide street that runs from the Tiber River to Vatican Square, and even at that distance, the Basilica filled the windshield of our taxi- very impressive. There are too many churchs to list but a couple of interesting ones are San Clemente, a modern church just south of the Colessuem built on the remains of any early Christian basilica that dates to 350 AD. The remains comprise three underground levels that you can visit. There is also an interesting crypt in the lower level of the Santa Maria della Concezione on Via Veneto called the Capuchin Crypt which contains the skeletal remains of 3,700 bodies of Capuccin Friars on display.
Finally, there are the cafes and restaurants. To me, part of Rome is having a cappuccino or glass of casa vino with a pastry or appetizer at an outdoor cafe and watching the world go by. Those nearest the tourist attractions are the most expensive, but taking a short walk a block away, the food and drink is reasonably priced and the view just as good.
I hope you have enjoyed my pictures of some of my favorite places and thanks for visiting.